Changes at avalanche.ca
We’ve made some changes at avalanche.ca. This season, we switched to flexible forecast regions, which means our forecasts will more accurately reflect conditions. The changes tackle one of our biggest problems with our old system, where conditions would often vary significantly across some of our larger regions.
With the new system, forecast regions are dynamic and have boundaries that change in response to conditions. This allows forecasters to communicate variability more effectively. Areas sharing the same conditions and avalanche problems can be grouped together to form forecasts. This means that forecast regions will be larger when conditions are uniform and smaller when conditions are more variable. Forecasters will determine the regional boundaries every day so the information in the forecasts is now more tailored to expected conditions.
The regions are now coloured to reflect their highest danger rating and we’ve added the ability to hover over a region and see an abbreviated description of that rating, enabling users to better visualize the danger where they plan to recreate. Map layers and tools can be added or removed from the forecast map using the menu on the top left, and we have implemented a colour-blind safe version to improve accessibility. These design changes reflect best practices in risk communication and are consistent with the approach used by most public forecasting agencies worldwide.
The forecasts themselves remain the same, we haven’t changed the format, just the areas they cover.
We’re also updating our mobile app. The old app is no longer operational and can be removed from phones, but we will be sharing a new one in the near future. The new app will have all of the features of the old one, with some big improvements for viewing your forecast and using the Mountain Information Network. Look out for a launch announcement soon.
We’re excited about these changes and we’re confident they will provide a better experience for our users.
Find out more at www.avalanche.ca/forecasts